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Forest Tent Caterpillars in Minnesota. www.entomology.umn.edu

Forest tent caterpillar peak; too soon to predict

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Forest tent caterpillar populations have been on the rise in some northern and west-central Minnesota counties since 2007, but this year’s spotty hatching shows some sign that populations may be declining early in some areas, said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Data suggested forest tent caterpillar populations and the associated defoliation of trees were building toward a 2014 or 2015 peak. Acres of defoliated trees reached 1.1 million in 2013.

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